Subaward Guidelines

A subaward transfers a portion of the research or substantive effort of the prime award to another institution or organization.  It is a written agreement with a third party for the acquisition of goods or services, or for the conduct of prescribed activities for programmatic decision making and measurable performance requirements related directly to the prime award.  A subaward is written under the authority of, is consistent with the terms and conditions of the prime award (a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement). Terms and Conditions from a Prime Award are typically imposed on the subrecipient to the same degree that they are imposed on UCF as the prime recipient.

Subaward at Proposal Stage

UCF SOP for Proposal Stage Requirements
2 CFR § 200.331 requires that UCF make a case-by-case determination as to the nature of the legal relationship of between UCF and third-party entities. This determination will decide the type of legal agreement (subaward/subcontract, contract, consultant agreement) required to document the relationship. It is important that the correct agreement determination is made early in the process of preparing a proposal, as allocation of indirect costs and monitoring requirements for these types of agreements vary and will impact the proposal budget and, in some cases, the proposal narrative. In addition, if specified in the award terms and conditions, sponsor approval may be required prior to executing a subaward.


Celeste Rivera-Nuñez, BA

Tameria C. Mace, MBA, CRA
Associate Director

Elena Andreeva, MA
Subaward Specialist III

Ritu Bhatia, BA
Subaward Specialist I

The proposal package submitted to the Office of Research in which potential Subrecipient is identified requires the inclusion of the following.
  • Subaward Predetermination Form - A Subaward Predetermination Form is a tool that the Office of Research will utilize to assist in the determination of the legal relationship of the third party as required by 2 CFR § 200.331.
  • Authorization from Subrecipient Entity - authorization from the subrecipient's authorized representative that commits the resources and effort of that entity to the proposal and allows UCF to include the entity in the proposal submission to the sponsor. This commitment can come in the form of a Subaward Letter of Intent for subrecipient's that are in the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse or a Subrecipient Commitment Form for subrecipient's that are not in the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse.
  • Subaward Letter of Intent (LOI) - is required to be completed for each individual subrecipient on the project for subrecipients that are in the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse . The LOI must be signed by the subrecipient authorized representative and should include an intent to accomplish the work as outlined in the scope of work, the project title, the period of performance, funds requested, and identify if the subrecipient will be carrying out Human or Animal Subject. An organization may use their own format or LOI to provide institutional authorization, or they may use the UCF Subaward Letter of Intent.

    - OR -

  • Subrecipient Commitment Form – A Subrecipient Commitment Form is required to be completed for each individual subrecipient on the project that are not in the FDP Expanded Clearinghouse and must be signed by the Subrecipient authorized representative.

    Required Supporting Documents for the Subaward will include:

    • Scope of Work (SOW) - provides sufficient detail of the technical and programmatic work to be conducted by the subrecipient, define the deliverables and milestones, and outline the time frame in which they are to be delivered. The SOW may also define all subrecipient personnel and their responsibilities. The SOW should be unique to the subrecipient's responsibilities and contain only the programmatic work that the subrecipient is tasked with completing. It should be accurate and concise as to what, when, and if appropriate, how the subrecipient will accomplish the work to be performed. See Guidelines to Drafting a Scope of Work (SOW)
    • Budget – consists of Subrecipient total costs, which includes direct and F&A costs, if applicable.  Direct Costs should be itemized by major cost categories, e.g. salary, fringe benefits, equipment, travel. If the sponsor has a specific template for budgets, the subrecipient budget should follow that template. UCF will not issue subawards using loaded rates (i.e. $200/hour; $500/day). If an entity uses a loaded rate because it is the standard rate for the entity, that is an indicator that a vendor/procurement relationship is being established.   Facilities & Administrative (Indirect) Costs must be based on a valid current F&A Rate Agreement with the Federal government.  The current F&A rate must be on file at OSP prior to issuance of the subaward.  Subrecipients that do not have an approved indirect cost rate agreement can utilize a rate of 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC) per OMB Uniform Guidance §200.332(a)(4). Requirements for Pass-Through Entities. UCF does not negotiate IDC/F&A rates with subrecipients.
    • Budget Justification or budget narrative - that explains both the necessity and the basis for the proposed costs must accompany the budget.
    • Audit Certification and Financial Status Questionnaire – The Audit Certification and Financial Status Questionnaire Form is required for subrecipients that do not receive an annual audit in accordance with 2 CFR 200 Subpart F. Additional information will be gathered at the time of award or “Just-In-Time” notification, if needed.
Fixed Price vs. Cost Reimbursable Determination

Cost Reimbursable
Under a cost reimbursable Subaward, the Subrecipient invoices the PTE for expenses incurred under the Subaward and then is reimbursed. The expenses, as always, should be allowable, allocable, and reasonable and Subrecipient invoices should include sufficient detail for subrecipient monitoring and audit purposes.

Fixed Price
Prior approval from federal sponsors is required if the PTE wants to issue a fixed price subaward. By federal regulation outlined in 2 CFR § 200.332, the total cost of each fixed price subaward may not exceed $250,000.

Under a fixed price agreement, various milestones and/or deliverables are established along with a corresponding price for each milestone. Once a milestone is met or a deliverable received and accepted by the PTE's PI, the Subrecipient may invoice for the corresponding amount due. Invoices for fixed price subawards need not include details of expenses. The first milestone/deliverable may be full execution of the subaward, which can be beneficial when dealing with entities that do not have the resources to incur expenses for later reimbursement.

All fixed price subawards must meet the requirements for fixed amount awards outlined in 2 CFR § 200.201.

  • Project scope is specific and if adequate cost, historical, or unit pricing data is available to establish a fixed amount award based on reasonable estimate of actual cost
    *Fixed amount negotiated using the cost principles (or other pricing information) as a guide
  • Payments are based on meeting specific requirements of the Federal awards
    *Options include partial payments for milestone or unit price for a defined unit
In order to establish and charge a Fixed Price Subaward to a sponsored program, the cost must be included and fully justified in the approved budget/budget justification at proposal or prior sponsor written approval is required.

If it is determined that a Fixed Price Subaward should be established, the Subaward section of the PTE proposal's budget justification should include the following statement: Based upon this justification, the university is requesting agency approval for Fixed Price Subaward cost allowed under 2 CFR §200.332.

A fixed price subaward may be appropriate when there is a very clear work scope, cost estimate & defined deliverables. However, the inherently unpredictable nature of research makes limits the ability to define specific research outcomes in advance. Most subawards do not meet the requirements of fixed price subawards. See Fixed Price vs. Cost Reimbursable Determination for additional guidance.

Subaward at Award Stage

UCF SOP for Subawards at Award
When a new award with subaward(s) is made to the University of Central Florida (UCF), the Principal Investigator (PI) or Department Research Administrator (DRA) will request an outgoing subaward using the Award Modification Request (AMR) button on the Award Workspace in Huron Research Suite (HRS). The PI/ DRA will upload the required subaward documents (see ORC Subaward Checklist for reference) in the AMR. The Outgoing Subaward Request Form has been provided for PI/DRA use and should be uploaded into to the AMR. When the Award Management Office receives the AMR, they will review and approve the AMR and submit an Outgoing Subaward Request to the Subaward Unit to negotiate and execute the subaward. This process is the same for subaward modifications/amendments. Subawards are issued for a one-year period of performance to ensure required monitoring of technical progress and compliance with university and sponsor requirements as well as federal regulations.

Award Management and Monitoring Requirements
Subrecipient Monitoring takes place throughout the life cycle of a sponsored project.  Information is gathered at the proposal and award stages as well as during an annual review process to ensure Subcontractor performance of the work and compliance with regulatory requirements.  The University is required to verify Subrecipient eligibility and managing high risk Subrecipients.

“Subrecipient Monitoring” are formal procedures established by the University for awarding and administering subawards.  The tasks of Subrecipient Monitoring are shared by the project’s Principal Investigator (PI), Department Research Administrators (DRA) and members of the Office of Research (OR).

A comprehensive risk assessment is completed by OR prior to issuing a subaward agreement.  Elements of the review include inspection of the following – Subrecipient organization’s entity registration in; current F&A (Indirect cost) Rate Agreement; Audit, Financial Report(s) and/or Tax Returns; a signed Subrecipient Profile Questionnaire.

The Office of Research maintains the University’s data and registration information on the federal government website System for Award Management or  This registration is mandatory for UCF and all of UCF’ s research subcontractors in order to do business with the federal government and to receive federal flow through funding.

Screening of the subaward organization and subaward Principal Investigator is performed by Office of Research through the Visual Compliance database to determine if there are any restrictions on receiving federal funds or doing business with UCF.  Additionally, the entity may be screened through FAPIIS (Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity System) which provides information about an organization’s past performance under federal awards.

Other factors may be considered on a case-by-case basis including but not limited to the location, size and age of the organization and the location of the work being performed; the amount of the subcontract and the percentage of the prime award being subcontracted; the for-profit status of the organization and the level of prior experience working with UCF.

If the Subrecipient is deemed as high risk more frequent oversight is required throughout the life of the subaward.  OR will work closely with the PI to learn in greater detail about the nature of the work being performed and the subrecipient’s technical and business capacity to perform.  Corrective action plans for identified high risk areas may be requested.

Monitor Performance, Progress Reports, Invoices/Financial Reports, Compliance 

  • PI is responsible reviewing the subrecipient SOW for technical feasibility. Performing cost and price analysis and providing competitive bid information or sole source justification.
  • PI is responsible for monitoring the subrecipient’s compliance with the terms of the subaward and monitoring the subrecipient's performance of the technical work.
  • PI is responsible for collecting and reviewing progress and invention reports, deliverables, and invoices/financial reports for consistency with the terms of the prime award.
  • Notify if there are concerns regarding performance of the subrecipient.
  • Notify your Award Manager if there are any financial concerns regarding the subrecipient. 
  • Notify your SET Finance Business Center to initiate the requisition/purchase order process.

Subaward at Closeout

A Subaward is closed out when the period of performance in the Subaward agreement comes to an end, regardless of whether UCF’s research project is ending or continuing. Subaward closeouts are processed by Grants Accounting in the Office of Research.

The PI or DRA is responsible for submitting required technical, property, and invention reports and/or any other required deliverables specified in the subrecipient agreement to the awarding agency or prime sponsor. Typical subaward closeout activities can include receipt of the following:

  • Final invoice (marked “Final”)
  • Final technical report
  • Final invention statement (if applicable)
  • Final property disposition (if applicable)
  • and reconciliation of subaward finances followed by closing the purchase order.

Serving Faculty

The Office of Research serves UCF scholars as the official liaison between UCF and funding sources and by helping faculty work through the proposal and contract management process.

This site includes information to assist university scholars through the announcement, application and post-award stages and to familiarize prospective partners with the breadth of funded research conducted at the university.

UCF is committed to the pursuit of excellence and intellectual growth and seeks to excel at moving ideas to innovation and realization. The Carnegie Foundation rates UCF as a "very high research activity" university. We've been on an upward trajectory for years and in 2021 UCF surpassed the $212.9 million dollar mark in external funding. UCF's pioneering efforts to commercialize technology continue to stimulate local economies throughout the state. The number of patents at UCF also continue to climb with 64 U.S. issued patents produced in 2021.

Budget Templates

Below you will find NIH and NSF budget templates. Although they are tailored for NIH or NSF, they can be used for developing your budget for any funding source.